Showcasing poems by more than ninety contemporary American poets, In a Fine Frenzy reveals what Shakespeare's poetic children have made of their inheritance. Particularly interested in Viola, Miranda, Prospero, Desdemona, Iago, Lear, Cordelia, Hamlet, Horatio, and Ophelia, the poets respond to the sonnets, the comedies, the tragedies, the romances, and, to a lesser degree, Shakespeare the man. In so doing they reveal the aspects of his work most currently captivating to modern writers. Those who cherish Shakespeare's mercurial wit will delight in the rapid shifts, from grief to hilarity, so characteristic of the bard himself. Comic poems about tragedies follow decidedly somber poems about comedies. Single poems contain multiple emotional twists and turns. Some pay homage; most interact directly with the original Shakespearean text. Collectively, they corroborate Ben Jonson's assertion that Shakespeare is ""not of an age, but for all time.
David Starkey teaches at Santa Barbara City College and in the MFA program at Antioch University-Los Angeles. He is the author of Poetry Writing: Theme and Variations and several collections of poems, most recently David Starkey's Greatest Hits, and coeditor of In Praise of Pedagogy and other collections. He is also a playwright whose work has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Paul Willis is a professor of English at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where he teaches Shakespeare and creative writing. He is the author of the ecofantasy novels No Clock in the Forest and Stolen River and three chapbooks of poems. His work has appeared in Poetry, Wilderness, The Best American Poetry 1996, The Best Spiritual Writing 1999, and The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004.